81 Interesting Facts About South Africa

Last updated on May 15th, 2023

South Africa, officially the Republic of South Africa (RSA) is the southernmost country in Africa. It has an area of 1,219,090 square km. Its capital is Pretoria and largest city is Johannesburg. Zulu, Xhosa, Afrikaans, English, Tsonga, Swazi, and Venda are some of its official languages. Its official currency is South African rand (ZAR). Six countries that share land borders with South Africa are Botswana, Mozambique, Namibia, Swaziland, Lesotho and Zimbabwe. South Africa is a multiethnic society encompassing a wide variety of cultures, languages, and religions. Let us learn more about its people, culture, wildlife, geography, history, industries; and some information and trivia about South Africa for kids.

81 Interesting facts about South Africa

1. The longest continuous wine route on earth is found in South Africa.

2. It is the largest meat producer in Africa.

3. Table Mountain is one of the oldest mountains on the planet.

4. South Africa is the only country in the world where right-hand drive cars are produced by Mercedes Benz.

Flag of South Africa

Flag of South Africa
Flag of South Africa. Source – CIA

5. The Bloukrans Bridge is the highest bridge for bungee jumping in the world.

6. The variety of flower species found on Table Mountain number more than those found in the entire United Kingdom.

Armchairs in the Rovos Rail luxury train. Photo: Gimas / Shutterstock.com

7. Rovos Rail is the most lavish train in the world.

8. South Africa’s lion, wildebeest, cheetah and springbok, are four of the seven fastest mammals on earth.

African penguin ( Spheniscus demersus) also known as the jackass penguin and black-footed penguin.

9. Boulders Beach, Cape Town, is where you can swim with colonies of Jackass penguins.

10. With more than 6 million trees in Johannesburg, it is believed to be the site of the largest man-made forest on earth.

11. The biggest and oldest one-day marathon in the world, the Comrades Marathon, is run between Durban and Pietermaritzburg, in Kwazulu Natal. One of the coolest South Africa facts!

12. Although the Blyde River Canyon is only rated third largest in the world, it is believed to be the biggest “green” one on earth.

A beautiful sight of the Blyde River Canyon. Image credit – Ben Haeringer

13. Rooibos/Redbush tea is naturally caffeine-free and is only found in the Cederberg, Western Cape.

14. Despite skiing and snowboarding not being typical winter sports in the country, it is possible to enjoy them in the Drakensberg Mountains.

15. Two-thirds of Africa’s electricity is generated in South Africa.

16. As much as 80% of Africa’s rail infrastructure is found in South Africa.

Organic Macadamia nuts. Interesting facts about South Africa

17. Most of the world’s macadamia nuts come from South Africa.

18. South Africa is three times bigger than Texas, and five times bigger than Japan. You can impress your friends by sharing this fact about South Africa.

19. The kingdom of Lesotho is completely surrounded by South Africa. See the list of other landlocked countries in the world. 

20. The African elephant is the largest land mammal in the world. The African bush elephants can weigh up to 11 tons and live up to 70 years! If you are a wildlife lover, the next few South Africa facts will certainly pique your curiosity.

Giraffe Family.Giraffe Family.

21. South Africa is home to the tallest animal in the world, the giraffe. Isn’t this a fascinating South Africa fact for the animal lover.

22. The Least Dwarf Shrew, the smallest mammal in the world, lives in South Africa.

23. The world’s largest reptile, the Leatherback Turtle, is found in South African waters.

24. No less than eight of the world’s heritage sites are found here.

South Africa on map


25. South Africa is home to the largest and the slowest antelope in the world, the Eland.

26. The whale shark is found in the ocean waters of South Africa.

Kori bustard one of the largest flying bird, photographed in the namibian savannah. Interesting facts about South Africa

27. South Africa is home to the world’s heaviest flying bird, the Kori Bustard.

28. About 1/5 of the world’s gold comes from mines in South Africa.

29. About 900 different types of birds are in South Africa, which is about 10% of the total bird species on earth.

Interesting facts about South Africa. Ostrich running in desert.

30. The world’s largest bird, the ostrich, is found here.

31. South African inventions include the Kreepy Krauly automatic pool cleaner, the CAT Scan, Q20 lubricant, Pratley’s Putty, and the Smartlock Safety Syringe, among others.

32. South Africa has wetlands, deserts, bush, grasslands, mountains, escarpments, and subtropical forests.

Red Hummer H2 patriot edition. Photo: Kevin Tichenor / Shutterstock.com

33. South Africa was only one of two other countries outside of the USA, where the Hummer was manufactured by General Motors.

34. No other country in the world abandoned its nuclear arms program voluntarily like South Africa did.

35. The oldest human remains, more than 160,000 years old, were discovered in South Africa.

36. There are three capital cities in South Africa, namely the Executive Capital of Pretoria, the Judicial Capital of Bloemfontein, and the Legislative Capital of Cape Town.

37. South Africa is the only country in the world to have played host to the rugby, soccer, and cricket World Cups.

Aerial view of Cape Town city centre, with Table Mountain, Cape Town Harbour, Lion’s Head and Devil’s Peak.

38. Table Mountain is considered to be one of 12 main energy centers on the planet emitting spiritual, magnetic, and electric energies.

39. SABMiller is considered to be the largest beer brewing company by volume, in the world.

40. According to the UK’s National Physical Laboratory, Cape Town is the fifth in line for having the best blue sky on earth.

View from Chapmans Peak of Hout Bay harbour
A beautiful view from Chapmans Peak of Hout Bay harbour, South Africa. 🙂 Interesting facts about South Africa. Image credit – Ben Crouch

41. There are only 6 floral kingdoms on the planet, and South Africa is home to one of them, namely Fynbos.

42. With 11 official languages, South Africa has the most in the world.

43. The Western Deep Level mines, at almost 4 km, are the deepest in the world.

44. One in five adults in South Africa attends a gym or health club at least once a month.

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